Are you looking for an alternative and more economical way to maximise your profits when offloading your home? Property Fox is a young tech company that went live at the beginning of this year. It claims that if you make use of its services you could sell your home with a 1.5% commission rate or less. Is this too good to be true?
Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, noted that RE/MAX’s national average commission rate is just over five percent. Goslett said that there are few companies that offer a lower commission structure and questions what services are the clients receiving for the money that they pay?
How does it work?
If you are a registered home owner or a fully authorised representative of the registered property owner, all you have to do is visit their website, click “start your free trial” on their home page, fill out and submit a form. The form requires your contact and property details along with your choice of payment. By submitting your details, you accept and enter into a free, seven day, trial period.
Once entering into this agreement,you will receive the following services:
- Co-ordinating marketing efforts – Property Fox consultants will assist you in co-ordinating marketing efforts.
- Professional photos- A photographer will take photographs of your property and gather all the listing information.
- Floor plan- Property Fox will draft a floor plan to present to potential buyers.
- Home valuation – Their valuation team will give your home an accurate value, based on market conditions.
- Promote your home – Once your property has been approved, your home goes live and is marketed on PropertyFox.co.za, their social media channels and other property portals i.e. Property24, Private Property, IOL Property, My Property, etc.
Note that the free trial officially begins when the listing is live on their website and across their marketing portal network.
If you decide you don’t wish to pursue the service, you will need to terminate during the seven day trial period or on the eighth day at the latest which can be done by emailing email@example.com.
As a result your home will be removed from the website listing and all the other marketing portals that Property Fox is connected to. You will be charged a de-listing fee of R1,500 but this could potentially be waivered if you were not satisfied with their services. However, you will be left with a full market report so that you have an idea of what the value is of your home.
But if you decide to proceed, you will need to select a payment option that best suits you. You have an option of a once-off upfront payment fee or a commission rate upon the transfer of the sale.
The once-off payment is R25,000 (excluding VAT) if you make use of their conveyancers. If you don’t use their conveyancers it costs R27,500 excluding VAT. Regardless of whether your property is sold or not, the upfront fee is non-refundable and is only valid for 12 months once the payment is received.
Property Fox stated: “We invest a great deal to make sure we deliver accurate valuations and transparent analytical feedback to our sellers. In doing so, we don't foresee hosting a seller on our platform for longer than six months, much less a year.”
They added: “We empower our sellers throughout the process and this term is purely to protect our integrity against sellers who have unrealistic views when it comes to the value of their homes. But in the unlikely event that a house hasn’t sold in a year, and the seller wishes to continue listing the property with us, they would be liable for an additional R25,000 for the new listing period. They would have received weekly reports as well as extensive advice and professional input during the first period so there would have been a high level of service delivered.”
Property Fox noted that this option is best for a seller whose property is fairly priced and is based in a sought after area, where properties move very quickly.
The other option is to pay a 1.5% commission fee, once your home is sold. Property Fox feels that this is a better option in cases where it may take a longer period to sell a home.
Alternative payment option
Alternatively they offer a six month payment plan equivalent to R500 per month which means you will pay a total of R3,000.
Once you’ve determined your payment option, you will also receive the following:
- Additional marketing – Property Fox will send you a sales board to place outside your home.
- Buyers screening - All potential buyers will be verified through Property Fox’s partners at ThisIsMe.com; this is a site that safely secures your online identity, with one easy-to-use web service.
- Property viewings – Property Fox will introduce you to your potential buyers and you have the option of hosting your own viewings. Alternatively, Property Fox can assist viewings at a cost R2, 000 for a total of ten viewings.
- Wrapping up deal - The post sales team will facilitate all negotiations and walk you through the completion of your offer to purchase before handing the deal over to the attorneys.
This is an open mandate; there is no time limit for your listing. Property Fox ensures continuous support, adjustments that will be made to your listing until successful sale transfer, along with ongoing legal advice and negotiations from their legal team.
It is clear that Property Fox offers similar services to those of other realtor companies, i.e. marketing strategies, professional photos, home evaluation and other marketing platforms, etc. Their fees appear to be fair based on their pricing structure and inclusions.
As stated above if your property is situated in sought after area consider payment option one and if you feel your property may take over a year to sell then consider payment option two.
For more information, click here.
Handy tip: You can apply for a home loan through Justmoney by clicking here.